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Freeing The Stories Of Loudoun’s Enslaved Americans

July 2, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News Be the first to comment
Pastor Michelle Thomas

– By Andrea Gaines

Pastor Michelle Thomas couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

While doing research on land in Landsdowne where her church planned to build a new sanctuary, she came across county records of some 40 former slaves who had been buried on the property. The documents included bills of sale, repossession documents tied to specific individuals, and wills that mentioned the enslaved person’s name. “I had driven by this spot,” she said – near the corner of Belmont Ridge Road and busy Route 7 – “dozens and dozens of times … but never did I imagine that I was driving by such a sacred, unknown place.”

“It did not sit well with my spirit,” she continued. “We call these people slaves, but they were not slaves, they were an enslaved people, taken by force from their homeland and sold as common property.”

… Continue Reading

“We Did Not Expect The Legal Firestorm” – Farm Family Facing A Neighbor’s Lawsuit

July 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News 5 comments
legalfirestormfarmfamilypic

– By Andrea Gaines

When they moved to their 10-acre Philomont farm four years ago, Alexa Warthen and her husband made sure the plans they had for their land were in compliance with each of the property’s covenants and zoning regulations. They got some chickens – “natural pest control,” said Warthen – and they put in gardens, new fruit trees, blueberries, raspberries and more – all to provide their family with a supply of fresh, healthy food.

Everything changed when, with the help of Alexa’s mom, they erected specialty hops trellises and poles and planted 2 of their 10 acres in the crop, intending to sell to local microbreweries. A short time later they received a letter of complaint about the hops from neighbor Sandra Dingus, followed by a cease and desist order demanding that the poles come down and the hops come out. “We did not expect the legal firestorm over the hops issue,” said Warthen. “We even made sure to use untreated wooden poles to help protect the environment.”

… Continue Reading

Let the Games Begin! World Police & Fire Games Events to be Held in Loudoun County

June 26, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Let the Games Begin! World Police & Fire Games Events to be Held in Loudoun County
world_games

Loudoun County is among the jurisdictions in the region in which World Police and Fire Games events will be held June 26 through July 5, 2015. The event is expected to attract more than 10,000 athletes from more than 60 countries along with thousands of spectators to the area.

“I would like to extend a special welcome to Loudoun County to all of the athletes and spectators from around the world who are here for the games,” said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York. “I encourage them to take time to tour our beautiful county and enjoy our shops, restaurants, vineyards, and other attractions to see for themselves why Loudoun is such a wonderful place to live, work, and play.”

The games will take place at 53 venues throughout the region, including nine sites in Loudoun County. All sports events are open to the public, free of charge. Residents should note the tentative dates and locations of the Loudoun events and plan accordingly as traffic may impact the venues and the surrounding roads.

… Continue Reading

Loudoun Sheriff Michael L. Chapman Presents Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute Scholar

June 12, 2015 by Contributor Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Loudoun Sheriff Michael L. Chapman Presents Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute Scholar
ChapmanVSISpencer

Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman presented a check to Spencer Barrett June 9 as part of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Institute (VSI) scholarship program.

Barrett, a Leesburg, resident, will graduate from Loudoun County High School in June and will be attending Liberty University in the fall. “This scholarship will assist Spencer in his educational endeavors and his pursuit of a career in the criminal justice field,” said Loudoun Sheriff Chapman. … Continue Reading

Loudoun County First Half Real Property Tax Deadline is June 5

May 31, 2015 by Contributor Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Loudoun County First Half Real Property Tax Deadline is June 5
Loudoun County Seal Color

Loudoun County Treasurer H. Roger Zurn Jr. reminds taxpayers that the deadline for payment of the first half real property tax is June 5.

Payments postmarked after June 5, 2015, will incur a 10 percent late payment penalty. Additional interest at the rate of 10 percent per annum will be assessed. The due date will not be extended for bills where assessment questions have been filed with the Board of Equalization.

Payments can be made using electronic check (eCheck), VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Please note that there is a convenience fee added to credit card transactions. There is no fee for eCheck. Payments may be made: … Continue Reading

Dulles Greenway Drive Reaches Record High

May 27, 2015 by Contributor Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Dulles Greenway Drive Reaches Record High
Dulles greenway

The Dulles Greenway’s 10th annual Drive For Charity reached a record high for donations with $298,000 collected as part of the 2015 campaign. Monies raised will be donated to six local charities and the Greenway scholarship program.

“The Drive for Charity funds will allow the six charities to reach many more people making a huge difference in the lives of those who are in need,” said Terry Hoffman, Public & Customer Relations Manager of the Dulles Greenway. “We are proud to be a small part of making Loudoun County a better place for everyone.”
… Continue Reading

Loudoun County Offers Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program

May 6, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Loudoun County Offers Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program
Loudoun County Seal Color

Loudoun County offers financial assistance through the Down Payment/Closing Cost Assistance Program to first-time homebuyers. The program assists low to moderate-income homebuyers in purchasing homes in the county.

Administered by the Loudoun County Department of Family Services, the program makes loans available to homebuyers with a total household income between $32,800 and $76,450. Applicants must currently live and/or work in the county and have done so for the past six months. Standard eligibility requirements apply. Funds are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Highlights of the program include: … Continue Reading

Volunteers Test the Quality of the South Cactoctin Creek at the annual Catch and Count Event on the Chapman DeMary Trail

May 5, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News, Our Towns Comments Off on Volunteers Test the Quality of the South Cactoctin Creek at the annual Catch and Count Event on the Chapman DeMary Trail
david ward with scouts and net300

On May 3, a beautiful spring day, more than 60 people gathered at the Chapman DeMary Trail in Purcellville to catch and count creek creatures, conduct tests to monitor the quality of the South Fork Catoctin Creek, and improve water quality by picking up trash along the trail and planting trees. Participants who came to The Nature Generation’s event also enjoyed nature hikes and meeting Loudoun Valley High School student Sammy Iliff who had her award-winning water quality project on display. As a result of these efforts, volunteers picked up 5 bags of trash, planted 8 native trees, and found that the quality of the South Fork Catoctin Creek still needs improvement.

… Continue Reading

Humane Society of Loudoun Seeks Runners for Fun Run Team

April 28, 2015 by Contributor Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Humane Society of Loudoun Seeks Runners for Fun Run Team
humane_society

The Humane Society of Loudoun County is seeking runners of all levels to join their Fun Run team- Running for Their Lives- now forming for the Twilight Festival 4-Miler on Saturday, June 13 in Ashburn. Each Team Member is asked to raise a minimum of $500 in contributions in support of HSLC programs such as Foster Medical Care, Spay/Neuter, and the Loudoun Pet Pantry. The Twilight Festival 4-Miler is sponsored by Potomac River Running and includes a family friendly post-race party with moon bounce, carnival food, and beer garden. Find training schedules and register at www.humaneloudoun.org. Just click on the “Twilight 4 Miler Fun Run” tab. They can be contacted at helpanimals@humaneloudoun.org

“Reclaim Your Story” Event At Oatlands April 11

April 2, 2015 by Andrea Gaines Loudoun County, News Comments Off on “Reclaim Your Story” Event At Oatlands April 11
reclaimyourstory

Personal diaries and United States Census records indicate that shortly before the Civil War 133 African Americans worked as slaves at the historic Oaklands Plantation south of Leesburg.

Denied their freedom, in many cases their names, family history and family connections were also lost to history– save the personal memories and family memorabilia individuals and family units were able to keep alive pre- and post-Civil War.

African Americans and others with a connection to Oatlands are invited to come and share their stories, memories and memorabilia during a free, daylong event on April 11. Sponsored in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Gleedsville and the Loudoun County Sesquicentennial Committee, the event will feature several keynote speakers – including black history author Kevin Grisby – forums and discussions where individuals can share their own stories and learn from others, two Civil War Trail marker dedications recognizing African American history, and more.

… Continue Reading

Oldest Living WWII Veteran In Martinsburg

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Oldest Living WWII Veteran In Martinsburg
WWIIvet

Purcellville’s Charles P. Clark, a 107-year-old World War II veteran has been living at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center Community Living Center since November and has pretty much seen it all.

Clark is the oldest living confirmed WWII veteran receiving health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Administration.

Living WWII Veterans experienced the most widespread war in the nation’s history and are among the steadily declining veteran population in the world. WWII African-American veterans fought a global war when segregation was still among the ranks in the United States.

Clark was born in August 1907 in Hamilton. He is one of seven children of a sharecropper and a housemaid. At 32-years-old, Clark was drafted into the U.S. Army, and on Dec. 12, 1944, he was called to serve in WWII after graduating from basic training in Fort Lee, Va.

… Continue Reading

Stacks Selected As The Loudoun County Animal Control Chief

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Government, Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Stacks Selected As The Loudoun County Animal Control Chief
animalcontrolchief

Mark Stacks is the new Chief of Animal Control for Loudoun County. Stacks began his career with the Department of Animal Services in 2005 as an animal care technician, later becoming an animal control officer and then deputy chief.

Stacks has been instrumental in creating the department’s Junior ACO (Animal Control Officer) Academy which provides young people with and overview of the Department of Animal Services and helps them explore the field of animal welfare from the perspective of law enforcement and animal care.  Stacks leads dozens of humane education presentations for school- aged children annually, often with his dog, Roosevelt, by his side.
 
He graduated from Radford University with a degree in biology. Stacks is certified in ice and swift water rescue and is the certified firearms instructor for the department. 
For more information about the Animal Control Division of the Department of Animal Services, visit www.loudoun.gov/animalcontrol.

Loudoun Salvation Army Offers Family Easter Event

March 24, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Loudoun Salvation Army Offers Family Easter Event
Eastern-Cottontail-dreaming

The Fifth Annual “Sonrise” Easter Celebration will get underway on Sunday, April 5, at 9:00 a.m. at The Loudoun Salvation Army Headquarters located at 10 Cardinal Park Drive in Leesburg.

The event will kick-off with a family-style breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, juice and more provided by the Salvation Army and prepared by volunteers.

Following the breakfast at 9:30 a.m., all children 12 and under will be given the opportunity to search for eggs filled with candy, stickers and other surprises. Wal-Mart of Sterling is again helping to sponsor the event along with Leesburg United Methodist Church. Children will also receive Easter Baskets for as long as the supply lasts. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

The Noisy Economist

25 Jul 2015

noerpel150

“[W]hereas classisists [economists] turned the spotlight on change, flow, process and dynamics, the neoclassicists [economists] spend their time analyzing states of rest, balance, equilibrium.” – Yanis Varoufakis [1] Updating the evolving global surface temperature anomaly monthly for the Loudoun County …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Help for Shark Phobia

8 Jul 2015

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, We go to the Outer Banks every summer as a family, but our seven-year-old daughter is now freaked out by the reported shark attacks at the Outer Banks. Thanks to her older siblings teasing her about sharks, she …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015

timjon

– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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Brandon Park

3 Jun 2015

timjon

Considering its location – amidst the swirl of transportation axes, commercial and industrial scenery, residential neighborhoods, and the shadow of the busy downtown section of Leesburg, I was surprised to have this quiet little oasis of (mostly) green to myself …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015

donnawilliamson

By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

Saving The Art Of Letter Writing

1 Jul 2015

moore-sobelnewmug

– By Samuel Moore-Sobel This year a woman in France received a letter in the mail. What made her experience unique was that the letter had been written on January 27, 1877, and was intended for her great-grandfather. Steve Insekeep, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

The Marital Agreement

2 Jul 2015

Smith0035

– By Amy & Dan Smith In Virginia, as in most states, a marital agreement can be entered into before or after marriage. It can cover a variety of topics but commonly addresses issues pertaining to the disposition of property …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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Events

July 2015
M T W T F S S
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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

6 7

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

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Garden Party

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

Willie White returns to North Gate Vineyard

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Garden Party

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Barns of Rose Hill Presents Lúnasa

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Friday Night Jazz with Maddy Curtis and Caleb Nei

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Two Pound Sterling Live at North Gate Vineyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

25

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Kipyn Martin Live at North Gate VIneyard

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Event: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists – wood turner Harriet Maloney and photographer J Riley Stewart

The Gifts Within

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Friday Night Live with Emma Rowley & Saffron Gourmet Food Truck

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Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Book Signing: 'Beyond Jefferson's Vines' by Richard Leahy

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Spinners

2

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Editorial

How Did We Get Here And How Do We Get Out?? A Summary Of Purcellville’s Sewer Debt And Strategic Solutions

1 Jul 2015

kwasifraser

– By Kwasi Fraser, Mayor of Purcellville Many of our fellow citizens are baffled by the proposed increase in our already high water and sewer rates, and not just about the increase that was proposed for the Fiscal Year 2016 but also about the proposed increases over the next nine years. This quote from one of our citizens to a …

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Lifestyle

Artist’s Profile: Michele Sommers, Mural Artist – The Beauty Of Life, Evolving Over Time

2 Jul 2015

artist3

– By Andrea Gaines Two things defy reason when it comes to mural artist and painter Michele Sommers. The first is her irrepressibly humble attitude towards her talent. The second is the absolute divinity of her work. I knew that in writing about her in this way she would be thinking, Oh … come on … I’m not THAT good! …

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Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

1 Jul 2015

farmtofork

Kicking off this year’s Farm-to-Fork Loudoun project is the second annual Farm, Fork & Art, with music added: a special concert from home grown, award winning folk and Americana singer-songwriter Andrew McKnight. Farm, Fork, Art & Music begins at 6 p.m. sharp at the unique Trinity House Cafe located at 101 E. Market St. in Leesburg on Wednesday, July 22, …

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Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

1 Jul 2015

hillsborojuly3

Bring your friends and family to Hillsboro’s Old Stone School on Friday, July 3 for the annual Independence Day Celebration. The celebration will be preceded by the second of four seasonal outdoor markets which will open on July 3 at 4 p.m., and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone School located at 37098 Charles …

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Wild Loudoun

Ancient Oaks – The Great Providers

1 Jul 2015

wildloudoun

– By Andrea Gaines She feeds the birds. She shelters the mammal. She cools the air, provides us with shade and conserves the water and soil. She is the mighty old oak, an ecosystem unto herself. All except the smallest living things function as an ecosystem of sorts – whether harboring the bacteria and microscopic plants that break down organic …

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Around Virginia

Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill

governorsigns

On Thursday, May 28, Sen. Richard Black traveled to Richmond for the bill signing ceremony of his bill, Senate Bill 712, the Campus Sexual Assault Bill. Black’s law will change the way that Virginia’s colleges and universities handle sexual assault cases.  “When I heard about the Hannah Graham case, I …

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McAuliffe Announces Movie To Film in Virginia

McAuliffe

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia has been selected as the filming location for “Loving,” a motion picture based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia married couple who, in 1958, were arrested for violating a state law at the time prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple …

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Bipartisan Legislation Hopes To Reduce Wasteful Spending

blueridge2

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have teamed up on a bipartisan proposal to empower federal workers to identify and cut down on unnecessary federal spending. The Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act of 2015 would build on existing law by expanding a program that allows U.S. government …

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Sports

Upper Loudoun Little League Pre-Game Ceremony

1 Jul 2015

ULLLpic5

– By Carri Michon The Majors championship game for Upper Loudoun Little League dawned with prospects of stormy weather. Nonetheless, a nice crowd assembled for the pre-game ceremonies in the light rain. Following the announcment of the AL Royals and the NL Pirates teams, the ULLL Hometown Heroes scholarship given …

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WLVBC Ignite Takes 2nd at Tournament

13 May 2015

Ignite Takes Silver at Spring Fling resized

Western Loudoun Volleyball Club U15 Team Ignite placed second at the NVVA 15’s Spring Fling Volleyball Tournament on Sunday, May 10 at Belmont Ridge Middle School in Leesburg. Ignite met the host team, NVVA 15 Fairfax Black, in the finals. “I’m proud of each player for pushing hard through 10 …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015

thismonthhistory

– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

Locks Of Hope Easy, Helpful

1 Jul 2015

Lunde new

– By Mary Rose Lunde I’m not the first one who has written about and done what I am about to describe, and I hope I’m not the last. It’s not an action that seems heroic, but it does make a difference. The best part is that no one is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015

sarahcloset3

– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Letters

Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015

speak

With graduations behind us and summer vacations ahead, we have much to look forward to. My summer will be full of events and opportunities to …

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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

15 Jun 2015

Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories …

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Minimum Wage: A Wrench in the Gears

3 Jun 2015

Dave_larock

By Delegate Dave LaRock You may have read in the news recently that the second-largest city in the United States, Los Angeles, voted to raise …

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